By Brian Taylor
Four brief chuckles and a snicker. That was all I could muster through the furiously unfunny film, The Hangover Part III. And I was really hoping for a “laughy” evening. The comedic power of The Hangover (part one) was the combination of outrageous, left field circumstances that seamlessly flowed together. The latest movie felt like 40 short, sometimes over– sometimes underdone clips, rubber cemented together and falling apart at delivery. “Choppy” comes to mind.
The story picks up with Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) facing the death of his father and the realization — magnified by being off his meds — that his life is rudderless. On the way to confronting his problem — joined by Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) — they run into more problems. ‘Half the fun is getting there’ being the theme of the Hangover series, getting there was not fun this time… at all.
Why oh why — I asked myself — did writers not allow Alan to be Alan throughout the film. He just seemed like a slightly different guy. Galifianakis tried to work his magic, but he was squeezing a faintly moist towel. Bradley Cooper could have been a character in The Walking Dead, and John Goodman’s supporting role (I enjoy many of his other roles) sounded and felt like a first read through of the script. Ken Jong, who plays Mr. Chow was largely in the same boat as Galifianakis.
What began as a slightly smarter slapstick, adventure comedy, fizzled into a When the Whistle Blows,* lowest-common-denominator, bore. If you liked The Hangover, don’t see this film. You will go see it, but you ought not.
*When the Whistle Blows is the fictional show-within-a-show of Extras whose creator, co-writer and star is Ricky Gervais’ character Andy Millman. The show uses studio audiences, canned laughter, and the reliance on funny wigs, costumes and catchphrases for laughs.